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RealTime Economic Issues Watch

In RealTime posts, PIIE senior staff and colleagues discuss the fast-moving economic news, financial developments, and public policy choices confronting the United States and the world.

Recent Posts

Tariffs Hit Poor Americans Hardest

by | July 31st, 2014 | 12:44 pm

Raising or maintaining tariffs on imports is called protectionism for a reason. The goal is to protect domestic industry and jobs from lower priced foreign goods. But often forgotten is the impact of the US tariff structure on the wallets of American consumers when they visit shopping malls and have to pay a higher price […]

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NAFTA Rejoinder: The US Effects Are Clearly Positive for Most Workers (Part II)

by and Cathleen Cimino | July 30th, 2014 | 05:57 pm

The Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) is challenging an op-ed in the Financial Times by Adam S. Posen, president of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, with a litany of familiar denunciations of trade agreements. The CEPR blog post maintains that trade agreements with Mexico and other lower-income economies increase US unemployment, suppress wages, and foster US trade deficits.

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India’s WTO Problem—A Proposal

by | July 29th, 2014 | 10:48 am

After more than a decade of failure to break an impasse on a new global trade round, the World Trade Organization (WTO) managed last year in Bali to accomplish the modest feat of adopting a new Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), establishing faster and more efficient customs procedures to encourage more international commerce. Now India is […]

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The Hague Penalizes Russia for Yukos Confiscation

by | July 28th, 2014 | 05:00 pm

In a major new blow to President Vladimir Putin, a three-member Arbitral Tribunal of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague has ruled unanimously that the Russian Federation must pay $51.6 billion to shareholders of the defunct Russian oil company Yukos, which Russia seized ten years ago while jailing its principal owner, Mikhail Khodorkovsky. […]

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NAFTA Rejoinder: The Effects are Positive (Part I)

by and Cathleen Cimino | July 28th, 2014 | 04:08 pm

A new post by the Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) takes issue with the Peterson Institute Policy Brief “NAFTA at 20.” [pdf] Evidently PIIE and CEPR scholars assess Mexico’s experience of NAFTA quite differently: PIIE sees success; CEPR sees failure. Much of CEPR’s critique restates what the authors argued in an earlier report, “Did […]

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The Resignation of the Ukrainian Government Was a Welcome Step

by | July 25th, 2014 | 09:18 am

Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk of Ukraine announced his government’s resignation on July 24 after two of the three coalition partners, the Udar Party of Vitali Klitschko, mayor of Kiev, and the nationalist Svoboda, withdrew from the ruling coalition. Yatseniuk represents the Fatherland party of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who ran unsuccessfully for president in […]

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The Obama Administration’s Wrong Answer for Corporate “Inversions”

by and Tyler Moran | July 17th, 2014 | 02:06 pm

Faced with an exodus of tenants, most owners would immediately correct defects in their buildings. But faced with a wave of corporate “inversions”—namely US firms seeking the corporate nationality of another country—Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has instead called upon Congress to lock the front door and deal with the underlying causes at an uncertain date. […]

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Senseless GSP Sanctions against Russia Hurt US Importers

by and Tyler Moran | July 16th, 2014 | 10:03 am

Because economic exchange benefits both parties, sanctions usually harm the sender country as well as the target. Nevertheless sanctions are a handy tool in the conduct of foreign policy, especially when the impact on the target greatly exceeds the impact on the sender. What can’t be justified is imposing a “sanction” that hurts only the […]

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Modi’s First Budget for India: Disappointing but Retrievable

by | July 11th, 2014 | 12:54 pm

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s strategic vision underlying his first budget speech, presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on July 10, calls for an India that needs to grow rapidly and create opportunities for all. But while that vision deserves the highest of grades, the substance and the policy actions were not equal to the goal. […]

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How US Investments in Mexico Have Increased Investment and Jobs at Home

by and Lindsay Oldenski | July 11th, 2014 | 10:24 am

Enactment of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) 20 years ago was accompanied by dire predictions that an increase in US investment in Mexico would lead to job losses and investment reduction at home. The rhetorical highpoint for this concern was captured by H. Ross Perot’s assertion in the 1992 presidential campaign that NAFTA […]

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